Coin Cutting Techniques

quarter on green image by Richard McGuirk from

Things You'll Need

  • 1 1/2 by 1 1/2 by 3 1/2-inch oak
  • Pencil
  • Tape measure
  • Awl
  • 1-inch foster bit
  • 7/8-inch foster bit
  • Drill press
  • Bandsaw
  • Sandpaper
  • Scroll saw
  • #2 jeweler's sawblade
  • Quarter
  • Small C-clamps
  • Ultra-fine permanent marker
  • 1/16-inch drill bit
  • Safety glasses

Cut coins are used to make jewelry, belt buckles, buttons and other items. Cutting the coins requires a jig to hold the coin firmly while cutting a design with a scroll saw. Head mounted magnifying glasses help to see the fine lines when cutting intricate designs. A good coin cutting jig is one that is made from a piece of hardwood such as oak. The same process is used to make jigs for each coin. A quarter jig requires a 1-inch and a 7/8-inch foster bit mounted on a drill press.


Measure and mark the center line on the 3 1/2-inch length of the 1 1/2 by 1 1/2-inch oak board. Place a dot in the exact center of the line between the 1 1/2-inch side widths. Use an awl and push a starter hole on the dot.

Insert the 1-inch foster bit into the drill press. Place the brad point of the 1-inch foster bit on the dot. Drill a hole just over 1/16-inch deep in the surface.

Replace the 1-inch foster bit with the 7/8-inch foster bit. Line the brad point with the hole in the center of the 1-inch hole. Drill through the remainder of the wood with the 7/8-inch bit.

Place the oak board on a flat surface with the 1-inch hole facing the top. Draw a 3 1/2-inch line down the center of the block of wood going directly over the top of the 1-inch hole.

Cut the block of wood in half with the bandsaw. Remove the two pieces of wood from the bandsaw.

Hold the two pieces of wood together, lining up the center hole. Place a quarter on the ledge inside the 1-inch circle. The quarter must fit snugly in the hole. Turn the block to the side and see if the quarter slides out. Sand the cut edges so when put together the quarter is held in the 1-inch hole securely and does not twist or move.

Coin Cutting

Place the quarter in the wood jig. Clamp the wood jig together with two small C-clamps. Draw the desired design on the surface of the quarter with an ultra-fine permanent marker.

Drill a 1/16-inch hole in an area on the quarter that is to be removed.

Insert a #2 jeweler's sawblade through the hole drilled in the quarter. Attach both ends of the sawblade to the scroll saw.

Put on the head-mounted magnifying glasses. Cut the design from the coin.

Remove the clamps from the block jig when finished.


About the Author

Kim Blakesley is a home remodeling business owner, former art/business teacher and school principal. She began her writing and photography career in 2008. Blakesley's education, fine arts, remodeling, green living, and arts and crafts articles have appeared on numerous websites, including DeWalt Tools, as well as in "Farm Journal" and "Pro Farmer."

Photo Credits

  • quarter on green image by Richard McGuirk from